There was some interesting commentary on the Toronto Star website yesterday by Humera Jabir, a law student at McGill University.
She examines how “Citizenship in Canada is no longer a right but a privilege conditional on conduct.”
“‘Citizenship is not a right, it’s a privilege.’ This was Minister Chris Alexander’s justification for the sweeping changes to Canadian citizenship introduced last June. The reforms change many things, the most serious of which is the power given to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to revoke the citizenship of some Canadian citizens convicted of serious crimes.
“Previously, citizenship could only be revoked if it had been acquired fraudulently. But after this past year’s reform, citizenship is conditional on good conduct. A citizen who is a dual national or who can claim another nationality can be stripped of Canadian citizenship if convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage, anywhere in the world. Citizenship is no longer a right, but a privilege conditional on conduct.
“It is worth reflecting on how this reform has changed the meaning of Canadian citizenship. Citizen stripping has yet to be used. But the year ahead may reveal which Canadians will be targeted for removal.”